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Tom Coughlin is to blame for the Jaguars 2018 struggles

Zach Goodall



Aug 25, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

There are plenty of culpable figures inside of 1 TIAA Bank Field Drive for the Jaguars five game losing streak and 3-6 record on the 2018 season.

Blake Bortles looks lost at quarterback. The receivers can’t catch a cold. The offensive line has struggled run blocking. The pass rush isn’t getting home. The pass coverage has been getting shredded. Nothing is working.

It’s fair to blame the players creating negative impacts. It’s fair to blame the coaching staff for not getting the team out of bad situations. It’s fair to blame Dave Caldwell for building the team around a bad quarterback.

But the person who deserves the most blame at this point is Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Tom Coughlin.

Two years ago, the Jaguars made a nostalgic hire in bringing Coughlin “home”, years after the same team released him of his head coaching duties, in order to steer the ship. His role was created to manage the football team from both a roster building (draft, free agency, the 53-man roster and so on) standpoint, and a team-leading standpoint. Essentially making him the front office version of what Jon Gruden was hired to be in Oakland this year.

Either the Jaguars falsely advertised how big of a role Coughlin would hold, or he just doesn’t have the magic he used to anymore. And considering this quote from Jaguars owner Shad Khan, it’s safe to assume to former:

“Obviously, Tom would be making the final decision[s],” said Khan in Coughlin’s introductory presser in 2017. “What enthuses me the most is Tom welcomes the challenge of overseeing all facets of football operations, and given his roots in Jacksonville, combined with his experience and pedigree, there couldn’t be possibly anyone better to accept the challenge.”

The Jaguars entered the season fresh off of a 10-6 record, winning the AFC South and making it all the way to the AFC Championship in 2017. Things were looking great, as the defense was looking to repeat a historic 2017 performance and the offense was hungry to take the next step.

Instead… here we are.

The front office, with Coughlin having the “final say”, decided to build around an enigma at the quarterback position. Even with a booming run game and great pass protection from the offensive line last year, Blake Bortles was still an inconsistent signal caller who made as many “what the hell?” throws as he made great ones. There wasn’t enough proof to suggest Bortles could sustain the level of success he had inconsistently put together, but Coughlin and Caldwell bought in, and handed Bortles a three-year contract extension a month removed from the AFC Championship.

On top of that, the front office duo decided it was a good idea to address the future, rather than the present, of the team in the 2018 NFL Draft. In the first round, they selected a defensive end project player who would at most be a rotational lineman as a rookie rather than stepping in and performing at a position of need, such as receiver, tight end, or right guard. When the Jaguars did address receiver, the only position of those three big needs they ever selected in the draft, they took a project receiver in D.J. Chark. Despite his flashy tape, it was widely known Chark would not make an immediate, necessary impact that the Jaguars needed outside.

So, the Jaguars entered the 2018 season with several needs to help their enigma of a QB unaddressed. While Caldwell may make the picks, Coughlin was advertised as the guy who would ultimately have the ‘final say” on roster moves. The weaknesses of the roster fall in his lap.

With the roster that Coughlin has shaped, he also holds responsibilities to lead the players with Marrone. To maintain a healthy locker room, maintain a positive culture, discipline players as necessary, and ultimately, make personnel decisions.

The Jaguars have reportedly broken out in fighting in the locker room following losses. Four players were arrested in London following a bar incident at 4 A.M. A.J. Bouye ruled himself out of the Colts game without Marrone’s permission. Players such as Jalen Ramsey and Bouye have indirectly thrown blame around in press conferences and social media as of late. Not exactly the winning culture Coughlin could have possibly wanted to create.

And yet, there has been no public knowledge of discipline for any of these acts. Not even lost playing time.

Bortles, despite one of the worst four game stretches of his career, was benched in favor of Cody Kessler and significantly outplayed by the backup, yet never lost his starting job. Barry Church has been significantly outplayed by rookie safety Ronnie Harrison in coverage and angling to make tackles, yet there is no indication that Harrison could take Church’s job anytime soon. After trading a fifth round pick to thr Browns for RB Carlos Hyde, Hyde has received a meesly nine carries and barely received any snaps against the Colts.

All of these issues warrant personnel changes. But instead, the same staring lineup (minus injured players) have trotted out each week and alas, the Jaguars are on a five game losing streak.

There is plenty of blame to go around as the Jaguars have totally fallen apart. But the man who has “final say” on all things team-related deserves the most of it.

There’s an old rule out on the open seas, that the captain must go down with it’s ship if it were to sink. Well, the Jaguars look like the Titanic right now, and Tom Coughlin is their Edward John Smith.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Locked On Jaguars podcast and website. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Activate Tackle Josh Wells, Release Niles Paul from IR

Demetrius Harvey



Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made a couple more roster moves this Friday after releasing Strong Safety Barry Church. The Jaguars have finally activated Tackle Josh Wells. Wells was placed on short-term injured reserve after week five with a groin injury.

This move comes at an opportune time as the Jaguars will be without Right Tackle Jermey Parnell. Wells will more than likely start at Right Tackle this week against the Redskins.

The Jaguars have also released Niles Paul from injured reserve, signed Lyndon Johnson from the teams practice squad, and placed OL Josh Walker on injured reserve.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Redskins: Friday Injury Report, Parnell Out, Lambo in Doubt

Demetrius Harvey



Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Washington Redskins have released their Friday final status/injury report of the week ahead of their week fifteen matchup at TIAA Bank Field. For the Jaguars, they will be without Jermey Parnell, D.J. Chark, and Josh Walker.

All three players are listed as out with various injuries. The Jaguars have a move they could potentially make in activating Tackle Josh Wells who has been practicing the past couple of weeks. D.J. Chark will miss his fourth consecutive game making his rookie season disappointing in the end, unfortunately.

The other major area of concern is kicker Josh Lambo being listed as Questionable. A little later in the day, the Jaguars signed Kicker Kai Forbath which suggests he will probably be out this Sunday against the Redkins. We will revisit this on Sunday when the inactive players are released.

Below are both teams status reports:


WR D.J. Chark Jr. (Quadricep): Out

RT Jermey Parnell (Knee): Out

OL Josh Walker (Ankle): Out

LB Lerentee McCray (Illness): Questionable

K Josh Lambo (Right Groin): Questionable


LB Ryan Anderson (Hamstring): Out

TE Jordan Reed (Ankle/Foot): Out

WR Josh Doctson (Concussion): Questionable

DE Matt Ioannidis (Shin): Questionable

OT Ty Neskhe (Knee): Questionable

OT Mogan Moses (Ankle): Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (Back): Questionable

S Monte Nicholson (Illness): Questionable

RB Chris Thompson (Illness): Questionable

The Redskins have a much more lengthy status report than the Jaguars which is remarkable given how the Jaguars injuries have gone this season. Washington will be without at least a couple of starters including their starting Linebacker and Tight End. They also more than likely will be without a starting wide receiver in Josh Doctson.

Their Long Snapper Nick Sundberg has a high possibility of missing the game this Sunday as well because of a back injury. They have brought in a few long snappers to work out in the event he is not able to go.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars sign Kicker Kai Forbath in Wake of Josh Lambo Injury

Demetrius Harvey



Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have made a roster move in wake of the Josh Lambo right-groin injury. They have signed former Redskins and Vikings Kicker Kai Forbath. Forbath has a career FG% of 85.9% which is at the very least respectable in a league where kickers seem to be missing routine kicks daily now.

With Lambo potentially out the Jaguars were forced into a move. This could always be more of a cautionary move in the case Lambo does not play, but generally speaking, if a team signs a kicker near the end of the week it is not a good sign. We will see what happens when the last injury report comes out.

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